If you are visiting Bacolod City anytime soon, one of the best thing to do is to visit some of the heritage houses in Silay City and one of them is the Bernardino Jalandoni Museum.
Bernardino Jalandoni Museum
The Bernardino Jalandoni Museum is located inside the Jalandoni Ancestral House in Silay City. The Museum is owned by one of the prominent citizens of Silay – Don Bernardino Jalandoni. The house commenced its structure in 1908. The Jalandoni Ancestral House is housed at Rizal Street and very easy to locate since it stands on the main avenue at Silay.
The ancestral house turned museum opened doors for public viewing only in 1993. It was the first heritage house of its kind to come up at Silay City.
A brief history of Bernardino Jalandoni Museum
Silay turned into a progressive town in Negros Occidental with the influx of migrants since 1850. It is the town where the successful revolt of November 5, 1898 was conspired.
The museum now holds a legacy of its own for being a venue for cultural and educational and activities at Silay and the province of Negros Occidental.
The museum now stores the rich culture heritage of Silaynon along with its provincial borders, the Negrense or the Filipino culture in general.
100 Year Old Steinway Piano
The Bernardino Jalandoni museum is a two-storied building built around the local Filipino, European and Chinese architecture. The ground floor is a typical bodega with two carriage and a small souvenir shop near the wooden staircase.
Antique Glassware from Europe
On the second floor, a grand receiving area welcomes every guest with beautiful chandelier and a hundred-year-old Steinway piano that is still in perfect state. Also in the living room, several collections of old pieces are showcased including a harp, butaka rocking chairs and wooden chairs that reminds us of Silay’s old world glory.
Collection of Old Books
Within the walls of the second floor, I noticed huge family portraits hanging right beside the entrance of each rooms. Amor (the very knowledgeable tour guide) showed us every part of the house including the kitchen and how food is being prepared back then.
Collection of Old Photos
After touring the second floor of the ancestral house, we visited other rooms at the ground floor. I was fascinated with the old photos showcasing the old Manila, photos of Bacolod and Silay and photos of long haired kapampangan and other filipinos during the spanish era. Amor – the Museum Curator also showed us the Doll Collection located at the old warehouse of the house also at the ground floor.
All parts of the house flaunted hardwood materials from Mindoro. Germany imported steel trayed ceiling added to its elegance. The ancestral house was converted into museum and restored by the Silay Heritage Foundation, Inc. in 1993 and now also is in charge of the up keeping of the museum. This lifestyle museum also explored for historical and educational activities is still original in 90% of it that makes a memorabilia of the rich lifestyle and culture practiced in that period.
What to expect inside the museum?
- A tour guide wearing a Filipina dress of the early 1900’s will be present at the gate to narrate you the story of the house along with the history of Silay City in general.
- See the facade of the house which follows the Nippa architecture in a miniature form.
- The wooden carvings near the ceiling will catch your attention. They are very intricate resembling French design. The kind of architecture it has allows better air circulation in that huge mansion.
Entrance fee is 50php per head and that includes a free guided tour inside the two storey house. With the cooperation of the Government and with the help of Silay, public viewing of the cultural preserve at the museum is an amiable and friendly thing to do. The Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday and Holidays from 9:00A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Doll Gallery (photo courtesy of Gael)
How to get there
From Bacolod City – Ride any mini bus or a Ceres bus that can take you to Victorias, Manapla and further. You will take 30 – 45 minutes to reach the spot as your travel time. The Silay Public market stands just beside the Jalandoni house.